Citizens United v. FEC update

September 9, 2009   •  By Jeff Patch
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Quick on the draw with reaction to oral arguments in Citizens United v. FEC [transcript] was Election Law Blog host Rick Hasen, who dished out instant analysis after his live-blog of the arguments. Prof. Hasen joined CCP Chairman Brad Smith for a discussion on the case on PRI’s “To the Point” radio show. Smith also has this NPR op-ed, a point-counterpoint with Maryland state Sen. Jamin Raskin. Raskin and Smith discussed the case at a Cato Institute policy debate.

The Wall Street Journal‘s coverage quoted Smith: “The big publicly held corporations are nervous about the fact that they can upset lots of shareholders,” Smith said [in explaining why small businesses are just as — or more — likely to be boosted than big businesses by removing the corporate independent expenditure ban]. “They tend to be more risk averse.” The Journal printed this companion editorial and Q & A. Brad is also quoted in Human Events‘ story.

According to The Hill, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said in a press conference after the arguments that the justices showed an “extreme naivete of the influence of corporate money and soft money.” Well, McCain doesn’t understand the First Amendment, so let’s be charitable and call it a wash…

The Associated Press take is here. Quote of the day: “We don’t trust our First Amendment rights to FEC bureaucrats,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. The Institute for Justice’s release is here. IJ attorney Steve Simpson also has an op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner, highlighting the absurdity of the “customized loophole” for only media corporations in McCain-Feingold.

SCOTUS Blog, USA Today (and this editorial), The Washington Post (along with this quick-take PostPartisan opinion), New York Times, The Washington Times, Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times, Politico, Roll Call ($), CQ Politics, BNA: Money & Politics Report ($), The Atlantic’s Mark Ambinder, National Law Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, UPI, McClatchy Newspapers, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, National Journal’s Hotline and Under the Influence blog, Slate, CBS, PBS, NPR and CNN all have reports.

Ilya Shapiro filed this on the Cato Institute’s blog. Reason asks a First Amendment question and has more. David Bossie and Michael Boos of Citizens United published this op-ed in National Review Online. David Kopel at The Volokh Conspiracy also weighs in here; Orrin Kerr, a fellow Conspiritor adds a political angle. William J. McGinley of Patton Boggs posted his take on his new blog, Express Advocacy. The Center for Responsive Politics’ analysis is here. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press notes the government’s shift on book banning. Adam Bonin has this dispatch for Daily Kos. Edward B. Foley hopes for more line-drawing post Austin. The magazine Variety focuses on the documentary film aspect of the case. Last, and probably least, Jim Sleeper offered this dumb rant at TPM.

This post has been continuously updated to add more content.

Jeff Patch

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